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Tennessee vs. Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Team Total to Target

Tennessee vs. Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Team Total to Target article feature image
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Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamel Horton Jr. (Mississippi State)

Tennessee vs. Mississippi State Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 17
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Tennessee Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-115
123.5
-110o / -110u
-250
Mississippi State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-104
123.5
-110o / -110u
+198
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In a rematch from two weeks ago, No. 9 Tennessee hits the road to play Mississippi State at the Humphrey Coliseum Tuesday night.

The Volunteers are looking to bounce back from their third loss of the season over the weekend, falling at home to Kentucky. The Vols currently sit at 14-3 overall and 4-1 in SEC play.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have stumbled recently after the great start, dropping five of their last six to enter this game at 1-4 in the SEC.

Tennessee dominated the first matchup, and I don’t see that changing in this contest.


Tennessee Volunteers

If you have been following my recent guides on the Volunteers, I mentioned how you were having to buy them at their highest point in the betting market.

That has shown in the last two games.

Rick Barnes’ team failed to cover in the victory at Vanderbilt before losing as an 11-point favorite to the Wildcats.

The main issue on Saturday was that Tennessee couldn’t overcome one of its worst shooting performances of the season. In the loss, Barnes’ squad made only 3-of-21 shots from beyond the arc, which was a disappointing 14.3%.

However, the nation’s best defense was still able to give them a chance to pick up the victory.

On the year, the Volunteers are No. 1 in the country in AdjD, EFG% and 3-point defense, and they are also top-10 in forcing turnovers (8th) and opponent 2-point % (8th), according to Bart Torvik.

Tennessee is allowing only 57 points per game in SEC play, which includes holding the Bulldogs to 53 points in the first matchup.

The same struggles offensively happened again for Chris Jans’ team over the weekend. The Bulldogs failed to make a 3-pointer in the 69-63 loss at No. 16 Auburn.

It was also a contest in which Mississippi State scored 41 points in the second half and still did not win the game.

Jans has to hope that the strong showing after halftime will carry into this one.

One area where Jans doesn’t have to worry is on the defensive end of the floor, where MSU has been one of the best teams in the country.

This season, the Bulldogs rank in the top 25 in multiple categories, including AdjD (11th), EFG% (22nd), turnovers (10th) and 2-point defense (24th).

Without consistent shooting, I’m not sure the defense will be able to carry this team to a postseason berth in Jans’ debut season in Starkville, Mississippi.

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Tennessee vs. Mississippi State Betting Pick

MSU is not going to be able to rely on securing offensive rebounds to create offense in this game, which is why I have a hard time seeing Jans’ team scoring often.

So, my best bet is for the Bulldogs to fall under their team total of 58.5 points, which I would play to 55.

Yes, I know we got burned on this play against Auburn, but you can’t move away from this bet until the Bulldogs show they can consistently top this number.

On the season, MSU is outside the top 225 in most key offensive metrics, including EFG% (328th), AdjO (234th) and 2-point (261st) and 3-point shooting (340th).

You also have to factor in Tennessee coming off a loss. Following their previous defeats on the year, the Volunteers held Florida Gulf Coast to 50 points before restricting Austin Peay to 44.

I would argue that FGCU may be better than the Bulldogs offensively, and the Governors aren’t far off from them.

The Vols have also only allowed six of 17 opponents to top this number, and I don’t expect MSU to add to this tally.

Pick: Mississippi State Team Total Under 58.5 (Play to 55)

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